To be completely honest, I don’t know what I am doing here.
I moved across the country by myself for a year, came home and decided to write.
Maybe it’s because I spent so much time alone, thinking, and now I have so much to say.
One of the things, I thought about a lot was fear.
It’s just a four letter word, yet it has the power to stop us from going after our dreams.
But, what if… we don’t let it?
That’s the question I asked myself two years ago that sent me for a ride.
I said, “I’m scared to travel alone.”
But what if you do it anyway?”
“I’m scared to let go of love.”
But what if you do it anyway?
“I’m scared to move across the country by myself.”
But what if you do it anyway? What will happen?”
Well, I found out.
The world didn’t come crashing down. I made it through and things turned out okay.
Actually, they turned out to be more than okay. They turned out to be wonderful.
And this is what I learned about fear:
1) Fear is our body’s natural response to threats.
But did you know that our bodies confuse fear and excitement? That’s right. Our body’s physiological responses to fear and excitement are exactly the same.
This explains a lot, doesn’t it?
It’s why when you have new ideas, they always sound so amazing at first but then a minute or a day goes by and you don’t think they sound so good anymore.
Why? Because the excitement wears off and fear settles in.
Who knows how many dreams fear kills every day.
It needs to stop.
2) You can overcome fear.
I went through this exact process when the idea of this website first came to me.
My initial thought was, “Wouldn’t it be amazing if I created a website to inspire others to go after their dreams?”
Then it became, “No one is going to read it, you’re not an expert, what a silly idea, you will fail, you’re crazy.”
But what fear didn’t know was that I’ve gotten pretty strong. I knew the moment that those thoughts appeared, it was no longer me speaking. It was my fears.
So what did I do? I acknowledged it and went to work.
You can do it too.
The next time you start talking down to yourself, pause and observe what your fears are saying.
Do not let your fears control you, you have to control them.
3) Fear can be very useful.
If you’re one of those people who constantly say you don’t know what you want in life, take notice of what scares you.
Dreams often come packaged as fear. That’s just how they work. First, they scare you, then they challenge you, then they reward you.
In my experience, my scariest ideas have become my greatest ones. So when something scares me today, I take it as a sign that I have to do it even more.
Fear signals what is important to me. It signals that I have something to gain and something to lose. It signals that something is stirring in my heart, otherwise, I wouldn’t be so scared of it.
4) Fear and dreams come hand in hand.
Think of all the things you’ve done in life so far that you’re really proud of. Didn’t they start off being pretty scary? Then you overcame whatever challenges they brought and by the end, you felt proud of yourself.
Every success story starts like this.
So the next time you have an idea that you can’t stop thinking about that scares you, there’s a pretty good chance that it’s also really good.
But none of that will matter unless you do it.
5) Overcoming fear takes practice.
Mark Twain said it best, “Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.”
The only way to get over a fear is to face it head-on. If writing scares you, write. If traveling alone scares you, travel. You don’t have to declare it to the whole world. Practice it until you’re comfortable and eventually you’ll be proud of it.
That’s how I got over my fears.
I often tell people that my trip to Asia was what gave me the courage and strength to go after all my other dreams, but really they were in me all along. I just wasn’t using them. That’s why I created this website. To help you and myself remember the strength and courage we have to overcome our fears.
It’s in you, you just have to dig in.